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This story originally appeared in the California Health Report.

Black Health Network Member Spotlight: Antoinette Manuel

29 Feb 2024 10:13 AM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN? 

I have been a member of the Black Health Network for about a year. I was drawn to California Black Health Network (CBHN) after attending a Black Health Agenda event hosted by CBHN. I have previous experience working in the mental health field and was interested in learning more about how to close the gaps in disparities for Black Americans.

What is your current profession? 

Currently, I work in public health. I am also the founder of I.R. Coaching and Consulting, a coaching and consulting organization that aims to support Black women in the nonprofit sector.  

From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians? 

I think access to culturally responsive services is one of the barriers that exist. When it comes to mental health, nationwide, 3% of therapists identify as Black according to the American Psychological Association. Additionally, there are structural barriers that have not addressed racism as a root cause making it challenging to go further upstream.

Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of Black Californians? 

Recognizing the connection of burnout, compassion fatigue, and workplace trauma for Black Women and how that impacts your mental and physical health, I started I.R. Coaching and Consulting. I have been able to support individuals and organizations and I hold on to the belief that small changes can lead to big impact.

My inspiration to keep going comes from my late brother (nickname I.R.). He lost a battle due to an ongoing health condition, his joy lives on and pushes me through!

This story originally appeared in the California Health Report.

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